Dec 8, 2009
Dec 8, 2009

Ornamental Square from a Tunic

Ornamental Square from a Tunic


Tapestry weave with supplementary weft wrapping; undyed linen and dyed wool

Overall: 16.5 x 16.2 cm (6 1/2 x 6 3/8 in.); Mounted: 24.1 x 23.8 cm (9 1/2 x 9 3/8 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1982.80



This mythological scene of the first labor of Hercules and the capture of the Nemean lion originally decorated the front, back, or shoulder of a unisex linen tunic. Hercules was tasked with performing 12 labors as penance for slaying his own wife and children. Hercules carries a club, and a lion skin appears slung over his shoulder, serving as impenetrable armor. His companion, Iolaus, carries his bow and quiver on the right. The small figure in the center is unidentified. Knotted ornaments fill the corners, surrounded by a broad purple border edged with a running wave motif.

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